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The international art scene in Dubai continues to grow

The international art scene in Dubai continues to grow
By Louise Miner  & Jane Witherspoon

Dubai has a vibrant arts scene, showcasing contemporary exhibitions to fine art galleries and is home to the most internationally diverse fair in the world - Art Dubai.

"In the last few years the scene has grown amazingly. It’s a moment in the year when the international community moves to Dubai to be part of this amazing project," said Pablo del Val, Artistic Director, Art Duba.

It's one of the highlights on the cultural calendar and features work from 42 countries and around 500 artists all sharing perspective and ideas.

Fod is a Spanish artist he said, "Actually, being here is really important for me, because this is the first time that I have left Europe for a single project like this one. It's great that a gallery bets on one single artist, because that way you get a chance to really show your work."

An Italian artist based in Paris, Michele Ciacciofera said, "There is a different point of view to the European or American scene. People here are very interested in the global scene of art not just in the middle eastern region."

Pablo de Val added, "Dubai sits in the international platform in a very important way. I think that now the country has the right structure to go to the next level."


In Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue is one of the city's art hubs. It was once a neglected warehouse district but now it's home to local talent including sculptors and painters showcasing in cutting edge galleries alongside exciting pop-ups.

Shireen Atassi is the Director of the Atassi Foundation for Arts and Culture and she said, "Alserkal Avenue on a personal level is like family for us. Whether it’s bringing world class exhibitions to concrete or the programming that happens in terms of visiting exhibitions to initiatives and residencies it has just brought Dubai to a completely different level."


Meanwhile, The Jameel Arts Centre is a creative space that has been described as a game changer for the local arts community. It’s the first non-commercial and non-government institution.

"Dubai hosts an entire eco-system of art. Whether it is residencies, whether it is commissions, whether there are artists studios and now we see the opening of art collecting institutions like Art Jameel which is where we are today," said Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Cultural Commentator.

Dubai has always been a gateway where east meets west and is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and now the city is firmly establishing itself as a cultural centre for the global arts community.